Staff News

Library Leadership Team Transitions

The past year has a been a time of transition for the Duke University Libraries. Not only did we welcome a new University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs (see our conversation with Joseph A. Salem, Jr. in this issue), but his appointment coincided with several retirements and departures in the Libraries’ senior leadership team.

Blue Dean

In March, L. Blue Dean was appointed Associate University Librarian for Development following the retirement of Tom Hadzor, whose career at Duke spanned twenty-six years, including sixteen in the Libraries. A seasoned fundraiser with more than twenty years of experience in higher education and the nonprofit sector, including prior appointments at Duke, Dean serves as a member of the Libraries’ Executive Group and leads organizational efforts to sustain and expand philanthropic support for the Duke University Libraries.

Emily Daly

In May, Emily Daly was named Interim Associate University Librarian for Research and Public Services, following the departure of Dave Hansen, who was named the new executive director of the non-profit organization Authors Alliance. Daly has worked at the Duke University Libraries for sixteen years, most recently as Interim Head of Research and Instructional Services and Head of the Assessment and User Experience Department. In her interim role, she provides leadership and oversight for Access and Delivery Services, the East Campus Libraries, International and Area Studies, the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Department. A national search has been launched to find a permanent AUL for Research and Public Services.

Jameca Dupree

In July, Jameca Dupree was named Interim Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services with the retirement of Ann Wolfe, who had served in that role since 2002. (Wolfe will continue to work for the Libraries in a special part-time capacity as Project Manager for the Lilly Library Renovation and Expansion.) Dupree has worked at Duke for twenty-one years, including seventeen at the Duke University Libraries, where she most recently served as Director of Business Services. In her interim role, she oversees Business Services, Facilities and Distribution Services, and the Library Service Center. A national search for the permanent AUL for Administrative Services is currently under way.

The other members of the Libraries’ Executive Group include Dracine Hodges, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services; Timothy M. McGeary, Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies and Technology; and Naomi Nelson, Associate University Librarian and Director of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Libraries Receive Grant for Data Curation Training

Every year, more funders and scholarly journals require scientific researchers to share and archive their data. To understand why this is so important, just look at the recent pandemic. The ability to quickly share reliable and reproducible data about COVID-19 resulted in the development of effective vaccines in record time.

But in order for it to be useful to anyone else, data not only needs to be shared but properly organized and managed. In other words, it needs to be curated.

This is an area where the Duke University Libraries have some expertise. Several years ago, we launched the Duke Research Data Repository, an open access online platform for Duke researchers to deposit and share datasets, so that they are preserved and accessible for the long-term. And our Center for Data and Visualization Sciences provides support and instruction throughout the year on all aspects of data-driven research to faculty and researchers across the university. We also partner with other information professionals through the Data Curation Network to advance open scholarship.

Now that expertise has been recognized with a federal grant to help other libraries provide similar support to researchers at their own institutions. The $132,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will be used to further develop the Data Curation Network curriculum focusing on how to curate a wide range of research data, specifically for people who work in academic libraries and archives.

Sophia Lafferty-Hess, Senior Research Data Management Consultant, is the principal investigator. In her day job here in the Libraries, Sophia teaches and consults with researchers at Duke on how to organize, document, preserve, and publish their research data. For the grant, she will be working with colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis, Princeton, the University of Minnesota, University of California-Santa Barbara, and the Association of Research Libraries to develop in-depth training modules on data curation—covering the basics as well as advanced topics.

“This project will use a community-driven approach to generate new curation learning materials,” said Sophia. “By working together, we can build knowledge of practices and emerging trends and share that knowledge out with the broader community. It is really exciting to work with other passionate people to enhance our capacity to curate the diversity of data being shared at our institutions.”

The ultimate goal is to enhance the quality of scientific data curated by libraries across the country, so that they can be reused by the global community of scientists to verify results and foster new discoveries.

In Memoriam: Connie R. Dunlap, 1924 – 2022

This summer, we received word of the passing of a former colleague and leader of this institution. Connie Robson Dunlap served as Duke’s University Librarian from 1975 to 1981 and had the distinction of being the first woman to occupy that post. At the time of her appointment, she was only one of three women in the U.S. to direct major research library systems, so both she and Duke were trailblazers in this regard.

Connie Dunlap

Born in Lansing, Michigan, she attended the University of Michigan, where she studied geology and geography and later earned her master’s in library science. After graduating, she went to work for the University of Michigan Library, where she rose through the ranks and was eventually appointed Deputy Associate Director. She was named Duke’s University Librarian in 1975, succeeding Benjamin E. Powell.

During her time at Duke, Dunlap was instrumental in formalizing what would become the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), a consortium of the library systems at Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University, dedicated to resource sharing, technological innovation, and cooperative collection development. She was also responsible for a report that recommended a storage facility for collections, which anticipated the Library Service Center years before it became a reality. And she was a bit of a visionary. Dunlap predicted the role of computers and technology in research libraries fairly accurately to include “quick data” to supplement printed and published scholarship and the emergence of digital bibliographic tools and databases. After retirement, she was active in many organizations and was a long-time volunteer at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

Dunlap died on April 23, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the age of 97. She was preceded in death by her husband of fifty years, Robert, who died in 1994.